Overview

Newly renovated with no aspect left unattended, this South Luangwa safari lodge blends style and comfort seamlessly with nature. Recently updated, Puku Ridge is wilderness, refined – from the elegant architectural lines to the thoughtfully outfitted game viewing vehicles and the perfectly-positioned photographic hide in front of the camp’s private watering hole.

Located well inside the incredible South Luangwa National Park with an outlook onto a private floodplain and watering hole, this remote and elevated landscape is enriched by the rolling gait of giraffe, the heart-shaped nose of the puku, and the midnight whoop of the hyena.

 

THIS IS A ZAMBIA LUXURY SAFARI FROM START TO FINISH, AND EVERY DETAIL IN BETWEEN.

A collaboration between its new owners, Chichele Safaris, and the Cumings Family of Chiawa Camp & Old Mondoro – the reimagined Puku Ridge is situated on one of the Park’s prime sites.

The well-known and much loved facilities, service and guiding have been upgraded to the highest of standards for which the Cumings Family’s own safari camps have become renowned. Unique in design but traditional in outlook, it has been completely rebuilt with a lighter footprint.

Elements from the South Luangwa bush camps of old have been combined with traditional village life and authentic, local art works complement crucial creature comforts making for one of the most appealing and welcome safari camp launches for many years.

Previous guests of the old Puku Ridge will feel that everything has changed, but nothing has changed, as many special touches from the past have been retained for the ultimate combination of past and present in our South Luangwa safari lodge.

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  • Location

     

    Puku Ridge is situated in the South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, on a ridge overlooking the fertile Kakumbi Valley.

     

    This property has been established on a ridge overlooking the game rich floodplains of the Kakumbi dambo. The South Luangwa safari lodging was named after the shy Puku Antelope, which you may be lucky enough to see, whilst on your Zambia safari.

     

    The Luangwa River is the most intact major river system in Africa and is the life blood of the park’s 9 050km². The changing seasons add to the richness ranging from dry, bare Bushveld in the winter to a lush green wonderland in the summer months found in South Luangwa National Park.

     

    Among the more common trees in the valley are the mopane, leadwood, and winterthorn, some beautiful specimens of baobab, large ebony forests, the tall vegetable ivory palm, marula and the magnificent tamarind tree.

  • Accommodation

     

    (8 ROOMS)

    8 identical rooms comprising of canvas, thatch and decking all overlooking the beautiful Puku Ridge floodplain and its seemingly endless parade of wildlife.

     

    All rooms have super-king beds draped in mosquito nets that can be separated into generous 3/4 single beds, lounge area, tea/coffee/minibar, air conditioning, overhead fans, bath, his & hers washbasins, his & hers wardrobes, indoor & outdoor shower, plunge pool, sweeping, curved decks and star/day bed tower.

     


     

     

  • Facilities

    Property Facilities
    24-hour Security
    Bar
    Eco Friendly
    Internet Access (Complimentary)
    Laundry Service (Complimentary)
    Private Vehicle Available
    Restaurant

     

    Room Facilities
    Balcony / Deck
    Bath
    Dressing Gowns
    En-Suite
    Fan
    Hair Dryer
    Laundry Service (Complimentary)
    Mosquito Nets
    Outside Shower
    Pure Cotton Linen
    Safe
    Shower

  • Activities

    Activities Nearby

    Bird Watching
    Game Drives
    Game Viewing
    Game Walks
    Safaris

     

    Activities on Site

    Bird Watching
    Game Drives
    Game Viewing
    Game Walks
    High Tea
    Safaris

     


    Day Game Drive

    Lions and leopards are often seen in the area around the camp, as are buffalo, giraffe, zebra and elephant. For big game like this, guests really need a vehicle to get up close and here in the South Luangwa, travellers have the privilege of going on game drives at night. Guests are always amazed how much can be seen when they go down to the river for sundowner cocktails before leisurely driving back to camp.

    Bush babies in the trees stand out with their enormous eyes, puku and impala scarcely notice as vehicles pass by. Guests often see hyena and leopard in the early evenings and are able to get very close in Puku Ridges’ specially designed 4 x 4 vehicles. On the open plains below the camp there are always grazing herds of antelope and of course they attract the predators that every guest wants to see.

    Also available are night drives which employ Chiawa Safaris’ unique, award-nominated spotlight protocol, where a red filtered spotlight is used to find and watch the nocturnal action, and a diffuse filtered spotlight is used to help with the photography, ensuring that night drives are low impact on the wildlife which rewards our guests with more natural behavior and better wildlife sightings.

     

    Night Game Drive

    Lions and leopards are often seen in the area around the camp, as are buffalo, giraffe, zebra and elephant. For big game like this, guests really need a vehicle to get up close and here in the South Luangwa, travellers have the privilege of going on game drives at night. Guests are always amazed how much can be seen when they go down to the river for sundowner cocktails before leisurely driving back to camp. Bush babies in the trees stand out with their enormous eyes, puku and impala scarcely notice as vehicles pass by. Guests often see hyena and leopard in the early evenings and are able to get very close in Puku Ridges’ specially designed 4 x 4 vehicles. On the open plains below the camp there are always grazing herds of antelope and of course they attract the predators that every guest wants to see.

    Also available are night drives which employ Chiawa Safaris’ unique, award-nominated spotlight protocol, where a red filtered spotlight is used to find and watch the nocturnal action, and a diffuse filtered spotlight is used to help with the photography, ensuring that night drives are low impact on the wildlife which rewards our guests with more natural behavior and better wildlife sightings.

     

    Walking Safari

    Walking is the best way to see the bush around Puku Ridge Camp. The South Luangwa is home of the walking safari and it remains the best way to experience the sights and sounds of the bush. Puku Ridge’s experienced guides love showing guests the indicators of the wild, ‘rewinding’ the action of the last few hours from just a few small give away signs.

    See where an elephant stopped to browse, where a leopard scratched a tree or a pangolin rolled into a ball. Accompanied by an armed game scout and taking careful note of the wind to mask any scent. There’s nothing like seeing lion tracks or the giant footprint of an elephant to make guests relish the comforts of camp. The area is home to 60 mammals and over 400 bird species, making it one of the top birding destinations in the world.

     

     

  • Fast Facts

  • Getting there

     

    By air

    Mfuwe airport is the nearest airport to the lodge and can be reached via a 1-hour flight from Lusaka, and a 2-hour flight from Livingstone.

     

    Road transfer

    Specialized 4×4 vehicles collect guests at the airstrip and return to the lodge I a 2-hour road transfer. Half of the journey to the lodge takes place in a game-rich area, affording guests with possible sightings of the free-roaming wildlife.

     

  • General Information

     

    Child Policy

     

    Children. Children over the age of 12 will be welcome at Puku Ridge. The minimum age at Puku Ridge is 12 years. We recommend this camp for mature, well-behaved children over the age of 12.

  • South Luangwa National Park

    What Is the Luangwa Valley?

    The Luangwa Valley is the name for the land area that contains both the North Luangwa and South Luangwa National Parks (as well as the lesser known Luambe and Lukusuzi).

     

    Thought to be where the walking safari originated, both major parks have quite a bit to offer guests. The North Luangwa is very remote and the only park in Zambia where you can see black rhino. A great deal of big game saturates the Luangwa Valley, including the endemic sub-species Thornicroft’s Giraffe and Crawshay’s zebra, both of which can be viewed at our South Luangwa safari lodge, Puku Ridge, and even from the comfort of your luxury safari tent.

     

    What Is the South Luangwa National Park Known For?

    The South Luangwa is 9,050 square kilometres (in contrast to the North’s 4,636 sq.km) and is colloquially referred to as the “Valley of the Leopard” due to such a high density of this elusive African animal being found in the park. Both day and night sightings abound at Puku Ridge for the leopard lovers. While modest in size, the South Luangwa is still largely uninhabited and unexplored, providing guests with a remote and private feel. Arguably home to Africa’s best bush walks, guests staying at Puku Ridge can explore the valley on foot and even encounter some pretty special (and very rare) African animals and walk with the increasingly rare Wild Dogs. A stay at Puku Ridge effortlessly combines both the wild experience and the luxurious camp for a Zambian safari that ticks all the boxes.

     

    The South Luangwa and Sustainable Tourism

    At all of the Chiawa Safaris camps, conservation is not just a word, but a way of life. From lodge building materials to use of solar power and reduced reliance on fossil fuels, as well as a considerate and sensitive approach to how we interact with the environment and wildlife – Chiawa is committed to conservation and sustainable tourism. In late 2017, United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General Taleb Rifai, made a visit to South Luangwa National Park to declare it as a park committed to sustainable tourism (and the first in the world to be declared as such).

     

    “There can be no true meaning of tourism if it does not benefit the local people in the community. We want to see more engagement and involvement of the local community in sustainable tourism. This declaration is the first to be done in the whole world,” said Dr Rifai.

  • Food

     

    Puku Ridge Camp
    South Luangwa National Park

     

     

  • Animals

    Some of the animals found in this area.
    South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.

     

    Leopard – Puku Ridge Camp

     

    Impala on sprint – Puku Ridge Camp

     

    The Leopard on the lookout – Puku Ridge Camp

     

    The Giraffe – Puku Ridge Camp

     

    The wild dog on the lookout – Puku Ridge Camp
    The lion – Puku Ridge Camp

     

    The Zebra- Puku Ridge Camp

     

    The Elephant – Puku Ridge Camp

     

    Nile crocodile – Puku Ridge Camp

     

    The Puku – Puku Ridge Camp

     

    The Greater Kudu – Puku Ridge Camp

     

    Cape buffalo – Puku Ridge Camp

     

    Eland – Credit Yathin S Krishnappa (Puku Ridge Camp)

     

    Hippopotamus – Credit Bernard DUPONT (Puku Ridge Camp)

     

    Spotted hyena Credit Standoff – By &lt (Puku Ridge Camp)

  • Birding

     

    Some of the birds found in this area.
    South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.

     

    Black-throated wattle-eye – Credit David Irving (Puku Ridge Camp)

     

    Collared Palm Thrush – Credit Zak Pohlen (Puku Ridge Camp)

     

    African_broadbill – Credit Commons wikimedia.org (Puku Ridge Camp)

     

    African Pitta – Credit Derek Keats (Puku Ridge Camp)

     

    African skimmer – credit Niall D Perrins (Puku Ridge Camp)

     

    Allen’s gallinule – Credit Martien Brand (Puku Ridge Camp)

     

    Barred long-tail – Credit Bradley Hacker (Puku Ridge Camp)

     

    Cardinal Quelea – Credit James Kashangaki (Puku Ridge Camp)

     

  • Airstrip

     

    About Mfuwe International Airport

    One of four Zambian international airports, Mfuwe Airport is conveniently situated for tourists to the South Luangwa National Park and other outstanding wildlife destinations in Luangwa Valley. It lies near the village of Mfuwe in the Eastern Province of Zambia. The 2.2 kilometre surfaced runway services regional international flights in the tourist season.

     

    International Air Transport Association airport code – IATA: MFU

     

    International Civil Aviation Organization airport code – ICAO: FLMF

Tour Map

Google Map for South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

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